Apr 26 2011
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Ministry to phase out use of 'Saudization'
Al-Hayat Arabic daily reported that Adel Fakieh, Minister of Labor, announced Sunday a new program for the "Promotion of Job Nationalization" as opposed to Saudization to provide a package of incentives for companies to take on higher numbers of Saudi employees.
Fakieh made the announcement after opening the Saudi Technical Conference and Exhibition 2001 (STCEX 6) at the King Fahd Cultural Center in Riyadh, and said that the Promotion of Job Nationalization program would be launched within two weeks.
"It is a program replacing the old ones," Fakieh said. "It hopes to create a comprehensive package of incentives for companies and firms that make the effort to increase the number of their Saudi staff, and lays out clearly and in detail the penalties they are subject to if they fail to achieve that."
He said the program would "help provide well-paid job opportunities for Saudis in the private sector".
The minister said that registration for the "Hafiz" scheme - the new national benefit program for Saudi job seekers announced in the Royal Decrees in March - was still ongoing, and that the Ministry of Labor was matching up its databases with other government bodies.
"Benefit is only for people who seriously try to find work," he emphasized. He denied the ministry was considering setting a minimum wage for the private sector, however, but reiterated the law on insurance.
"All private sector firms are required to provide health insurance to their employees, and staff who are not given insurance have the right to approach labor offices to lodge a complaint and they will take the necessary measures," he said. "Labor offices have received complaints in that regard."
Giving the opening speech at STCEX 6 on behalf of its patron Crown Prince Sultan, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General, Fakieh said that Saudi Arabia had one of the fastest growing populations in the world with a proportionately high workforce in its society compared to other countries. "That means a high number of jobseekers of both sexes," Fakieh said.
"And that number is set to increase several times over in but a few years, posing a challenge requiring a clear course for development."
He spoke of state efforts in that regard, citing the Human Resources Development Fund's "assistance in the employment process for technically and professionally qualified staff in the private sector".
Fakieh concluded by saying that "good training has a direct impact on the employment process".
Ali Al-Ghufais, Governor of the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation, spoke of the corporation's success in recent years in developing its programs and achieving "tangible growth". This is the sixth staging of the Saudi Technical Conference and Exhibition. Closing today Tuesday, the event hosts from the Kingdom and abroad researchers and specialists in Human Resources Development to speak on technical and vocational training programs and their role in developing and qualifying human resources.
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